A recent article from The Verge discussed the latest FDA emergency approval granted to a medical device. This time it’s Fitbit’s ventilator, a low cost alternative to traditional ventilators that are in short supply as the U.S. treats COVID-19 patients. The device is called the Flow, and it will cost roughly $5,000 per unit, significantly less than other ventilators. Fitbit says the Flow isn’t meant to be a replacement for traditional ventilators, as it was designed to be used when a more expensive option isn’t available.
The ventilator received regulatory approval for use during the pandemic, but is otherwise not cleared or approved by the FDA. Fitbit’s CEO and co-founder James Park said, “We saw an opportunity to rally our expertise in advanced sensor development, manufacturing, and our global supply chain to address the critical and ongoing need for ventilators to help make a difference in the global fight against this virus.” Production is expected to begin this month.